Home / Culture and Society / Disastrous Earthquake Strikes Port-au-Prince, Haiti

Disastrous Earthquake Strikes Port-au-Prince, Haiti

Please Share...Print this pageTweet about this on TwitterShare on Facebook0Share on Google+0Pin on Pinterest0Share on Tumblr0Share on StumbleUpon0Share on Reddit0Email this to someone

Yesterday, at about 5pm, an earthquake measuring 7.0 on the Richter scale struck 10 miles west of Port-au-Prince, Haiti. According to Arutz Sheva, a witness reported that thousands of bodies were seen strewn on the streets of the destroyed city. According to that report, every two-story building was flattened and the National Palace had collapsed, though reports filtered through that the president of the country was alive. Haitians throughout the world and the United States have been keeping an anxious watch on events in their home country, as this report from Boston.com attests:

With phone networks disrupted in Haiti, those who got through by cellphone were soon disconnected. And with power outages widespread, once cellphone batteries died, there was no way to charge them.

As the local Haitian community awaited word, Raymond Joseph, the Haitian ambassador to the United States in Washington, urged all Haitians to be strong.

According to Arutz Sheva, emergency teams from the United Nations will be arriving on Wednesday to assess the situation. Israel will be joining in the effort to aid the stricken city.

Photos of the events in Haiti can be found at this Twitter site, and at Google, under "Earthquake – Haiti" Twitter reports are coming in regularly. These live images are among the first coming in Haiti, from Sky News via this site.

Powered by

About Ruvy

Hi!! Thanks for coming to my article! I was raised in Brooklyn, was graduated from the City University of New York in 1978 with a BA in political science and public administration there. I lived in Minnesota for a number of years. There I managed restaurants and wrote stories. We moved with our children family to Israel where we now reside. My work can be found at Ruvy's Roost, Jewish Indy,, and on Facebook under my full name, Reuven Kossover
  • Ruvy

    Thanks for getting this out so quick. The site is from Massacusetts is boston.com not from boston.com. This is a site of the Boston Globe, by the way.

  • I’ve never personally experienced a big earthquake, but I’ve seen the lingering effects much later in places like Nicaragua and Armenia. Considering the lack of infrastructure in Haiti in the first place, it must be hell on earth down there right now, and they need all the help they can get.

  • Ruvy


    Israel, for all of its alleged advances and claims to being a developed nation, does not have any enforcement for an earthquake code to protect its buildings. In fact the head of the local geological association suffered a heart attack while advocating for such a code in Knesset hearings. Some say he suffered that heart attack because of the closed ears of the Knesset members. This, in spite of the fact that this is an earthquake zone (the Temple Mount in Jerusalem covers a series of fault lines running north from Talpiot to French Hill and the Mount of Olives).

    A 7.0 earthquake like Port-au-Prince experienced yesterday afternoon, if it were to occur here, would destroy thousands of cheaply built stone buildings and cause the collapse of the Temple Mount altogether. So, I read this stuff and pay careful attention. I’m sure you can figure out that the collapse of the Temple Mount, even if caused by an earthquake, would be an international incident anyway. If it occurred on a Friday morning, with thousands of Muslims listening to yet another Wahabi hate-filled sermon calling on Allah to kill the Jews, it would really set off riots here….

  • Arch Conservative

    I’m surprised the story is being reported so quickly too Ruvy.

    The earthquake must have shaken loose some oil.

  • Heh!! Unless Obama does something stupid, this is going to be a major story in Miami, New York and other places where les haïtiens congregate. Thousands of Haitians have sought to escape the hell that is Haiti to at least have enough food to eat, and some extra money to feed their less fortunate relatives back home.

    The fact that this earthquake struck the capital may have massive repercussions politically in the country, if enough of its ruling élite has been killed off.

    But more than just Haitians have been affected. About 300 Indians live in Haiti, mostly attached to the UN there, and according to the Press Trust of India there has been no word about them. The UN HQ was destroyed in the quake.

  • Ruvy,

    This is so sad..hopefully you will not get many ignorant responses like #4..

    Thank you for the Twitter site..I re-activated my account.

    I’ll catch you later.

  • Ruvy,

    Unfortunately, What I just saw on that link had nothing to do with Haiti..must have caught it at a bad time…I won’t describe it since I know you are a religious man!

    look at this link

  • Thank you for your kind words, Jeannie. Bing, (Arch Conservative) forgets that basic phrase in the news biz: “If it bleeds, it leads”. Haiti is bleeding big-time and it’s right off America’s coast. There is no way the relatively lazy American media will miss this story. In fact, from CBS News, we have this:

    GENEVA, Jan. 13, 2010
    Red Cross: 3M Haitians Affected by Quake

    When I copied the link to this media, there was a breaking story as well: France’s foreign minister says U.N. mission chief in Haiti appears to have died.

    There you go! Two birds for the price of one stone. This is the perfect kind of story for Laurence Tisch’s “infotainment department” to look good with.

    Anyway, enough of the snarky remarks about America’s lazy media. Israel’s is not much better, feeding off official notices like the boys at Pravda and Trud used to. The only investigative reporters this country has all come from either America or Canada, and one of the best ones fled because the Shaba”k (secret police) was trying to kill him off.

    Next time I comment, I’ll try to stick to the Haitians and the results of the quake. Some serious news should be coming in by now. It’s already 08:30 EST. The reporters should be done with their doughnuts and coffee by now….

  • BING ……how interesting 🙂

    To get back to the subject at hand..it is at times like these that we should all put our petty differences behind us and help those in need.

    The collective word ‘We’ shows that everyone here has something in common.


  • STM

    Good reporting Ruve. I saw some pictures today at work that came in on the wires. Not pretty …

  • Ruvy, thanks for this new flash. As someone who has lived on the San Andreas Fault for most of my life, earthquakes scare the shit out of me.

    As I watch the news, my heart goes out to the Haitians…what a devastating ordeal.

  • It looks like the mass media are all over this story like a bad suit. There are way too many links for me to chase around following. Twitter and Facebook are flooded with images and stories about this event.

    I sense that if I was fully fluent in French, I’d get a lot more in the line of information. The media out of India (I wrote an article on this for Desicritics, the BC sister site for Desis) all have no information on the Indians stationed or living in Haiti. According to Arutz Sheva, there are three Israelis being searched for in Haiti. There is no word on the 30 Jews believed to be living there.

    So, until something significant comes out of this, it’s a wrap. I feel terrible for the thousands who have died, and for the tens or hundreds of thousands who mourn them.

    May G-d comfort the mourners and watch over the widows and orphans and give them strength to carry on; may G-d heal the wounded and give them a full recovery; may the inhabitants of this land hear no more bad news. They have suffered enough.

  • Amen Ruvy

    May G-d comfort the mourners and watch over the widows and orphans and give them strength to carry on; may G-d heal the wounded and give them a full recovery; may the inhabitants of this land hear no more bad news. They have suffered enough….

  • Thanks for the news, Ruvy.

  • Good reporting Ruve…

    When newspaperman calls your work “good reporting”, that is like a gold star! Thanks, Stan!

    Jeannie, Cindy, Tom and Bing, thank you all for the kind words.

    Now, it’s back to my normal beat here in Israel…. sigh

  • I have a question and i haven’t found the answer yet; wasn’t there a abnormal amount of seismic activity in the vicinity of Haiti?

    Why wasn’t there any warning?

    another concern of mine right now is…

    what’s next?

  • #16

    I apologise to all my fellow commentators..that comment was written while my phone was ringing! I usually try to correct my poor grammar and sentence structure before posting..

  • Jeannie,

    What do you want – America?

    If an allegedly first world developed country like Israel is unwilling to enforce earthquake protective housing codes knowing the kinds of risks involved, do you seriously think that a country that is little better than a failed state and producer of workers for export can do anything?

    There was plenty of warning! A decade’s worth! And it fell on the deaf ears of the partying good-time élites who run and ruin Haiti! But now is not the time for recrimination or pointing fingers. There will be plenty of time for that later, when the press trusts have gone away and the few reporters in Haiti are busying themselves with cheap drinks and cheap sex.

  • Ruvy,

    #16 Was asking why? or Did any scientists know yesterday or in the time up to yesterday, that there was activity..or, was there not even a warning of that sort.

    I always thought there were rumblings detected before an Earthquake hits.

  • Jeannie,

    Haiti is right on the boundary between the North American and Caribbean Plates and to make matters worse, Port au Prince sits practically on top of the Enriquillo-Plantain Gardens Fault, which runs right across southern Hispaniola and where it is believed the earthquake occurred. The epicentre was only about 10 miles from the capital and was at a shallow depth, hence the scale of the devastation.

    Seismologists knew that this particular fault was building up a lot of stress; they just didn’t know if it was going to be released in a series of smaller quakes or all at once. I guess they have their answer now.

  • Doc,

    Thank you for your answer. I didn’t know anything about the geography of that region.

    So, it is really even more upsetting to see that they had almost no infra-structure and lived as one of the most impoverished, over-populated countries in the world…that is what I learned about Haiti today from the news.

  • Now I’ve seeneverything…

    No man can claim to know the mind of God!

  • Ruvy, are you following the latest? CNN…

    More than 100,000 feared dead in Haiti quake, officials say

    The worst is knowing that there are men, women and children buried under the rubble, crying out for help. The coverage is chilling and it makes me weep.

  • I read your CNN link.

    Christine, I fear that the butcher’s bill will be far more than 100,000 souls. When the immediate disaster is over, much of the country will be in total chaos, and there will be many refugees to the Spanish speaking side of Hispaniola, the Dominican Republic. A nation that has an economy in tatters, the United States, will be hard pressed to take in Haitian refugees. So will Brazil, Guyana, Australia and Canada.

    I received an e-mail from a friend of mine in the States who has been warning of an apocalyptic future for some time. Here is the relevant portion of his e-mail.

    “I haven’t spoken with Bro[ther] Bob in about 4 weeks.

    I called him at (12 Jan) 4 PM EST (Also this is Washington DC time for my global addressees.)

    He told me he had many words from the Lord but wanted to wait until his cold cleared up.

    This is what he said in the one minute I talked to him.

    He has never been wrong in the 16 years I’ve known him.

    QUOTE: Two Thousand ten
    Will try the souls of men

    2010 is the end of the beginning
    And the beginning of the end. END QUOTE

    The quake in Haiti struck about three hours after I talked to Bob.”

    End of e-mail. Take it as you will. One point. The poster was speaking with ‘Brother Bob’ either at the same time the quake struck Haiti or one hour before, depending on Haiti’s time zone. He must have picked up the news about the quake two or three hours after it occurred.

    Now I must turn in. I have to catch a 07:30 bus to Jerusalem tomorrow morning, less than six hours from now. It is after 01:30 here.

    Good night from Samaria.

  • @ #22:

    I’m just surprised he beat Fred Phelps to it.

  • Great show, Ruvy. It is indeed true that we do have much in common, our common humanity. Unfortunately, it’s only at times like these that this basic human instinct exhibits itself more fully.

    I, too, have been through the Loma Prieta earthquake in the Bay Area (7.6 on the Richter scale, I believe), and lived in SF at the time. The entire Marina district must have looked like parts of London after the bombing – the houses in ruin and the smell of fire everywhere. (It’s built on a land mass.) The electricity was out for at least three days except for one downtown district and a section of South of Market. But people were not their usual selves.

    Of course, within a week or two, things were back to normal.

  • Just to mention some “snarky” response to this tragedy, Rush Limbaugh attacked Obama for making a statement regarding the Haitian earthquake quicker than his reponse to the panty bomber, and said something to the effect that Obama will gain the confidence of black people of both light and dark complexions by his response.

    Hey Rush, what was the body count over Detroit? How many dead in Haiti? Asshole!

    Also, Pat Robertson claims that the earthquake is god’s punishment for the Haitians having made a pact with the devil back in the 19th century to escape French rule. Robertson is such an impeccably stupid man.

  • Ditto Baritone,

    Robertson is such an impeccably stupid man.

    He sure is.

  • I feel so guilty, sitting here bitching and moaning…

    Oh, those poor people.

  • Well, Jeannie, I just went to Oxfam’s website and made a donation. I felt it was the least I could do short of stomping down to the local Red Cross office and demanding to be shipped to Port au Prince, where I’d be worse than useless since I don’t have any firefighting, medical or disaster management experience. 🙂

    Yes, it’s an awful situation, but it at least looks as if the organisations best equipped to help are on it, and very promptly. It may be trite, but your chequebook is probably your most useful tool right now.

  • STM

    One of the worst earthquakes ever in terms of the human cost and scale of destruction, right up there with the Boxing Day Tsunami in the Indian Ocean. Is that right? If so, imagine the suffering of the people on Haiti. Almost every family will be affected.

    Very sad. Some of the pictures I’ve seen today on the wires are best not shown publicly, to be honest, while others show better than a million words the scale of it.

  • Satanic Pact Caused Haiti Quake, so says Pat Robertson.

  • Ruvy

    There is not much to be said. One can assess “blame” as one wishes. Haiti is in an earthquake zone – but it has not suffered an earthquake like this for many years. The reports all say two centuries.

    In previous generations, people would lift their eyes heavenward when disasters like this struck and ask G-d – however they perceived Him – why such disasters struck them. When all the scientific explanations are done, the bottom lines is that none of them can say “why”. This is left to philosophers and those who believe in the Almighty to plumb.

    Mr. Novozielsky, I believe that is your field? I am a mere unlettered Jew.

    As for Mr. Robertson, he is like a stopped clock – even he is right twice a day. The question is – does he have his facts right (Haitians do practice voodoo, and a large part of that is dark magic)? If so, his thesis may be worth something other than mere condemnation and ridicule. If not – there is always the trash can.

  • I txted the word Haiti to 90999 this morning so, 10 dollars will go to the Red Cross to help the people of Haiti.

    Having such a big mouth, I added that every cent better go to help the people of Haiti and not the executives of the Red cross! 🙂

  • Ruvy, #33,

    As for Mr. Robertson, he is like a stopped clock – even he is right twice a day. The question is – does he have his facts right (Haitians do practice voodoo, and a large part of that is dark magic)? If so, his thesis may be worth something other than mere condemnation and ridicule. If not – there is always the trash can.

    why isn’t the great religious man being held accountable for the idiocy he claimed yesterday by the main-stream media?

  • Zedd


    Im not as surprised by Pat Robinson as I am that he has a following. I guess… market forces and all.

  • Zed, #37,

    They are the blind sheep.


  • Jeannie @ #34:

    These text message services tend to be automated, so I hope your little postscript didn’t invalidate your donation. I hope they’re sending you a receipt.

  • why isn’t the great religious man being held accountable for the idiocy he claimed yesterday by the main-stream media?

    He isn’t? Good. (Although there have been reactions from Rachel Maddow, the Haitian ambassador, the White House and other prominent voices.) He’s not where the MSM’s focus needs to be right now. That should be on reporting what’s going on and what’s being done and what else can be done to help.

    And Ruvy, voodoo may have been given the shaft by Hollywood and about a million horror novelists but it’s no more ‘dark magic’ than any other animist belief system.

  • I’ve got a voodoo doll with Pat Robertson’s name on it. I’m at the point where I’ve had my fill of fundamentalist right wing Christians. True right wing conservatives should be as outraged as I over this Robertson commentary. Furthermore, when the hell will the Pat Robertson Religious Steamrolling Troupe START paying TAXES????? Enough is enough. The more Robertson spews his hate the less inclined I am to believe that Jesus Christ is indeed the Savior. What happened to the poor people of Haiti was not Divine retribution. It was a force of nature. What happened to the poor people of New Orleans was not God’s wrath, it was a hurricane rescue effort that never was. And, finally, the destruction of the World Trade Center was not God’s way of smiting the homosexuals and harlots. It was the economy, stupid. Osama bin Laden knows it. Pat Robertson knows it. The American people do not.

  • Help Is On The way.

    I am so glad we have Obama in office..Bush would be on vacation and Condy would be out buying shooooes right now.

  • Doc,

    This is a safe way to contribute. My phone carrier adds the ten dollars to our next bill.

    TXT Haiti to 90999. Ten dollars goes directly to Red Cross relief..

  • Or shoes at Bloomingdale’s.

  • Sorry, Jeannie. I thought you said schooners.

  • why isn’t the great religious man being held accountable for the idiocy he claimed yesterday by the main-stream media?

    You really oughtn’t waste your time on such stupidity. This is the same thing as the “he said, she said” bullshit you find in the Jewish shit-bucket here in Israel. You did a mitzvá by sending money. If you have money to send, and you cannot go yourself (or you do not really know what to do there), you did what you can do. NOW, you can go to church and pray for those who lost loved ones, who lost homes, and who lost livelihoods. That’s NOT wasting time. And then you can also lift your eyes heavenward and ask the Almighty why Haiti was stricken with this terrible earthquake – and not New Madrid.

  • Silas, #41′

    Please don’t drag Jesus into this…he was a Socialist. Most Christians don’t like to admit that fact.

    It tends to get in the way of their political aspirations.

  • Roger, What are schooners?

  • A kind of yacht. Clavos would know best.

  • Ruvy,

    I would go help if could. If I was still in the Air Force I would be working at the airport. I was an aircraft mechanic in the late seventies.

    The 10 dollars I sent is not even a drop..:(

    As far as going to church to pray, I carry my faith with me so, I can pray here on your thread..

    to myself, quietly

  • Not political aspirations, Jeannie – just preserving their comparative advantage.

    It’s hard for me to believe that most BC commenters have pure love or passion for politics, say like Plato or Aristotle had. I tend to think their interest in politics is merely instrumental – which is to say, a means to an end.

  • Oh yes, I know what a schooner is now.

  • You can say that again! Roger

  • Which is one reason, Jeannie, why I don’t really take what passes here for political debate very seriously.

  • It’s hard for me to believe that most BC commenters have pure love or passion for politics, say like Plato or Aristotle had. I tend to think their interest in politics is merely instrumental – which is to say, a means to an end.

    I studied the stuff in school and got a degree in it, Roger, along with public administration. Politics is a means to an end, as is public administration. If you like philosophy, that’s fine. I want to get change done in the world. I want to see the homeless housed, the poor given opportunity, the hungry fed, the widows consoled, and the orphans given the love of new mothers and fathers. I want to see my land settled in peace and I want to see freedom and liberty rule the planet. I don’t expect to get all of these things, but I do work at getting them.

    You don’t get that debating philosophy; but if you are really lucky you get a philosopher to write your laws. Another irony to chew on.

    Right now the issue is how to help the refugees in a country that is a failed state altogether.

  • Ruvy, before I go..

    I want to get change done in the world. I want to see the homeless housed, the poor given opportunity, the hungry fed, the widows consoled, and the orphans given the love of new mothers and fathers. I want to see my land settled in peace and I want to see freedom and liberty rule the planet. I don’t expect to get all of these things, but I do work at getting them.

    What did you just say? and Why don’t you want this for the U.S. of A. !!!

    later dude 🙁

  • Baronius

    Silas, you’re always fed up with right-wing Christians. 🙂 The more interesting thing is the way the entire Right is denouncing Robertson’s comments, nowhere better than in this piece at National Review Online.

  • Anything can be a means to an end, Ruvy.

  • And since ’tis so, why even bother discussing politics. Let’s just talk about the different ends. Let’s cut to the chase rather than beat around the bush.

  • I don’t think that’s fair, Jeannie. Granted G.W. Bush is an idiot of earthquake proportions but let’s give the Devil his due (sorry, Rev. Robertson, you piece of bovine excrement). G.W. Bush did more to help alleviate the scourge of AIDS on the continent of Africa than Clinton or Bush I. Ironically, Mr. Bush is held in high esteem throughout most of Africa. The downside of it? The fact that Christian fundamentalists are buying off politicians to kill innocent homosexuals in Uganda is an outrage. How can a civilized society such as ours condone the wholesale slaughter of people by virtue of their sexual orientation? Is that the Christian thing to do?

  • Clarification, Baronius, re:Silas, you’re always fed up with right-wing Christians. 🙂. It is the Fundamentalist Right Wing Christians I am disturbed by. I have no issue with good, decent Christians who actually try and heed the words of Christ as opposed to the words of Palin, Pat and Rush. There’s a remarkable difference between the two. The fringe sect of Christianity is empowered by millions of dollars, no threat of taxation and a hidden racist agenda. One can be a Conservative Christian Fundamentalist and not subscribe to the likes of those hate mongering humanoids who pass themselves off as self-righteous agents of God. They are not. They are Satan’s work on Earth more so than any member of the Taliban.

    Baronius, I don’t have much time left here on this ball of water and rock. I’m doing my best to remain calm and look at the whole picture in a spirit of open-mindedness. I won’t, however, open my mind and heart to those who refuse to understand that we are a multi-racial, multi-religious, multi-cultural world. I would just as soon become a worshiper of Isis than subject my soul to the torment of those who follow Patrick Robertson, a harbinger of the worst kind of hatred and intolerance.

  • A very fair statement, Silas, giving credit to GW for his humanitarian work. I really believe he was truly convicted on this issue, that it wasn’t just PR.

    You are a fair person, Silas, a dying breed.

  • Silas, #60

    G.W. Bush did more to help alleviate the scourge of AIDS on the continent of Africa than Clinton or Bush I. Ironically, Mr. Bush is held in high esteem throughout most of Africa.

    You are right Silas!
    That is one of his few and far between accomplishments…

    But, the fact still remains that we could have done so much more for our country in the last thirty years.

    Yes, I just used but for the beginning of a sentence.:)

  • But at least it is an accomplishment, Jeannie. Don’t get me wrong, I hold G.W. Bush in the lowest regard when it comes to his performance in the Oval Office. But, he was and continues to be a great champion on the fight against AIDS in Africa. My concern is that certain radical Christian elements are using Mr. Bush’s leadership as a lightning rod to slaughter homosexuals. Granted Mr. Bush doesn’t condone it, but those who have provided him financial support over the years do. These same factions are not interested in saving African souls. They are more interested in being the architects of the inevitable booming African economy.

  • Oh Boy, I know I am way off subject now, But….

    Let me quote from my dictionary the meaning of a LIBERAL..since this word is thrown around so loosely here!

    Broad-minded. Not bound by authoritarianism

    I, am a free thinker..me thinks:)

  • What else is new, Silas?

    It’s capitalism on the march.

  • Jeannie,

    There is a big difference between what I expect to happen to the USA, what I think ought to happen to the USA, and what I would ideally like to see for the USA.

    I think you are going to hell in a hand-basket of your own making, and that is more or less what you deserve. But, that is not what I would ideally like to see for the USA.

    An economics expert I respect says that China will overtake you in most areas of economic activity, and that you will rapidly sink from a first world nation to a first world nation turning into a third world nation.

    And in my opinion, you have brought this upon yourselves. I’m glad I do not live there anymore.

  • Silas,
    Yes, we have been hearing that Africa is where the jobs (low paying, non-union jobs) will be in the future..sad

    Under the guise of helping the African continent, they will exploit..just like China and just like the US.

  • You should be glad that you’re people were freed by the US and England, Ruvy..

    We watched Schindler’s List a few months ago and I cried my eyes out for you! Ruvy! I remembered our first encounters and how I used to ask how you’re wife Adeena was. Sorry, I can’t remember how to spell her name now.

    My point is, I ached for what was done to the Jews, by a mad man with too much unchecked power.

    The most frightening thing is that history repeats itself if lessons are not learned.

  • I love this place! But , I have to go make dinner right now.


  • While I’m not completely convinced about the authenticity of the Scriptures as we know them today, in my heart I hope and pray that all Ruvy believes and holds dear reaps him great rewards. He’s a man of conviction; says it like he sees it and makes no apologies for the same. As I’ve said many times before, Ruvy and I may not agree on many things but when it comes to his genuine faith and resolve, I respect him far above many I have had the pleasure of knowing in my life. Ruvy is one of a rapidly dying breed of the tribes of Israel’s descendants and has done his ancestors proud. I wish I could say the same for myself.

    And, Jeannie, you’re right on “liberal”. We Americans tend to twist the root meanings of words and create something sinister. How sad it is that a society as “advanced” as ourselves has gotten even basic linguistics completely skewed. Oh well, I won’t be happy until Latin is adopted as the universal language and that ain’t happening none too soon.

  • A short note here in memoriam to my father, Ziskin Leib ben Tzvi-Hersh. He was born about 102-104 years ago in Poland and lived in Siedlce Gobernie in the Russian Empire. He was a war refugee who starved during the first World War and who fled with his mother and siblings to the United States in 1921. His proudest possessions were his citizenship papers (obtained 21 Nov. 1928), Robert’s Rules of Order, the constitution of the Teamster’s local he organized and the gavels he had as shop steward and Mason.

    In other words, he was not a refugee from Hitler. He was a refugee from Czar Nikolai II, from Pilsudski and from the hell that was Eastern Europe in the second decade of the Twentieth Century.

    I’ll be forever grateful that a country like the United States was there for my grandfather to emigrate to 100 years ago, and for my father, grandmother, aunts and uncles to follow 89 years ago. My family got a much needed respite from continual persecution, and got a chance to prosper a little bit – AND REST.

    But that was 89 years ago.

    The time has come for us to finally come home – and this branch of the family has. The “old country” was once the richest land on earth – but no longer is. It is sinking and falling, and the citizenship papers my father obtained with such pride represent a nation that is long gone in too many ways. It’s a shame. It’s a damned shame. But that rich nation’s leaders have led their population to a terrible fate. May G-d judge the leaders with severity – and grant mercy to their victims.

  • Yes, they have.

  • Thanks for the kind words, Silas.

    I may not agree with you on a lot of things, but you are the kind of person I would look for as a leader if I still lived in the States – a man who has gone through the hells of the self – and who has survived, coming out a better person altogether.

  • Thanks, Ruvy. I could not help but note that your Father received his citizenship papers 6 days after my mother was born. I’ve researched my genealogy for almost two decades and I’m often amazed at the stories I uncover about my own family’s history. They were different times then and as “civilized” as we’ve become, I’m afraid that we have somehow missed that innate innocence which thrives in the heart of a child. You know, Ruvy, as cynical as I am, I love the words of St. Paul in 1 Corinthians 13:

    Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

    For we know in part and we prophesy in part,

    but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears.

    When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.

    Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

    And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

    And that’s where I’m at. All I have left is love and I am desperate to let it flow to all those I come in contact with as the days wane.

  • This catastrophic event was made worse by an earthquake of 7.0 mag hitting an island. it’s like a pancake on a trampoline. Pretty ugly. That combined with all things made of concrete creates one of the worse urban dissaters ever. The Tsunami was not in an urban area like this one.

    It may never be rebuilt. How to you rebuild infrastructure that was never there?

    The banks are not waiving their fees either if you donate via credit card. Clinton has a site for donations.

  • cannonshop

    Okay, you Progressives out there…

    I just donated a pint of blood and one hundered worthless U.S. Dollars to the relief efforts in Haiti. I hereby challenge you alls with your “Global Consciousness” to match or exceed that.

    I recommend using the Red Cross for your donations, they’ve got the smallest overhead for every dollar contributed of the major charities out there.

  • The Haitian Earthquake has been front and center in my house these days because my partner was a survivor of the 1988 Spivak Quake which literally destroyed a part of Armenia. He was in school that day when the quake hit and recalls vividly the feeling of the shaking Earth, the rumbles of the concrete as it collapsed around him. His Dad tells me stories of how people in their town would work for hours on end, digging through rubble. One of his Uncles, who was on leave from the Soviet Army at the time, lay crushed under six floors of concrete — his body crushed under the weight. They got him out and within hours the Soviet rescue forces had his body on a helicopter bound for Moscow. Accompanying him were his parents. Two decades later this once broken soldier lives a happy life with a wife and two incredible children here in Massachusetts. His parents, my partner’s Grandparents, live locally as well. Were it not for that horrible event I never would have come to know these people who would transform my life in such a profound way. In their misery leaving their homeland and coming to the promise of America we found each other. And as grief stricken as they were, the rescuer was rescued. Ah, the irony.

    I’m sharing this story so that those of you who have family in Haiti understand that the worst has just begun. There will be a time for mourning, and a time to live. Surviving a cataclysm of this magnitude will result in a renewed hope and determination to make things right for the rest of their lives. We who have not known such sorrow cannot begin to fathom the depths. I’ve watched it in the eyes of this family over the last two days as they compare the pictures of rubble in Port au Prince to what they experienced. The pain while not as fresh etches deep lines in their faces. Their tears filled eyes glaze as they recognize the pain they see on the screen — not different from the pain they felt. Out of the Armenian tragedy, great possibilities rose for those who survived. The same with be true for the people of Haiti. Perhaps one of you reading this will end up meeting a broken Haitian in your life’s journey. And in that chance meeting you will find that they aren’t the ones who needed the saving. They were brought here to save you.

  • STM

    Cannon: “I just donated a pint of blood and one hundered worthless U.S. Dollars”.

    Way to go. I always thought you were a decent bloke Cannon; now we know for sure.

  • Oh, I am mistaken here concerning giving blood.

    Cannon suggested giving blood.

  • What we fail to realize is that it will be a generation before Haiti returns to some semblance off normalcy. The area hit by the Spitak Earthquake in 1988 still for the most part remains devastated. There’s been some rebuilding but many have left the area. The economy is still in shambles. When the USSR dissolved that was the end of rebuilding. There are many lessons to be learned here.

  • Silas,

    What is the point of comment eighty-two?

  • Jeannie, if you understood the gravity of the Spitak Earthquake and the stumbles made in the aftermath, it’s quite clear that are things which can and should be done differently in this rescue effort.

  • Way to go. I always thought you were a decent bloke Cannon; now we know for sure.

    I’m sure he is a decent bloke, Stan, but I just wonder why he couldn’t share that with us without coming off all snide and bitter.

  • cannonshop

    #85 Because I’m actually a bitter, nasty bloke? (and it isn’t even deep down, either…) But it strikes me that if a bitter, nasty person can find a hundered bucks and a pint of B+ blood for the victims (which isn’t even a drop in the ocean of what they need down there), the NICE people should be encouraged to contribute as-much-or-more.

  • I donated money on Wednesday, Cannon. Jeannie did likewise, and has been tirelessly drumming BCers up to do the same ever since.

    So that’s at least two ‘progressives’ (whatever that means) whose global consciousness seems to be working just fine.

  • Silas, #84,

    You know what?

    While you educate me on what we are doing or not doing little babies are laying in rubble trapped with dead body parts all arownd them!
    go ahead and correct my gramer i can’t see the keyboard

  • zingzing

    “go ahead and correct my gramer i can’t see the keyboard”

    that is surreal.

  • cannonshop

    #89 It’s the internet-one of those points of existence where quibbling over grammar can cause nastier, and more brutal arguments, than the pressing issues and events of the day.

    #87 Exactly, Doc. “Function” is more important than rhetoric until the bodies stop bleeding. When the living have been rescued, and the dead mourned, we can all return to the process of nattering at one another over spelling and punctuation and whether or not so-and-so is a such-and-such.

    It’s like when Katrina happened-we can abuse the event in a partisan way after the worst is over with. Even a bitter asshat such as myself can see that.

    Still… Red Cross. They don’t spend the donations on limousines or lobbyists, and nobody ever got rich running the ICRC.

  • I had a long drawn out comment for each one of you separately. But, it would not be worth my energy to press the post comment button that many times.

    I will just say thank you to the Doc..


  • I just love it when I get slammed with such stern consternation. The bottom line point I was trying to make is that these rescue efforts can be coordinated more efficiently than Spitak. We’ve had a lot to learn from in the last 25 years with regard to disasters – natural or Christian-made (WTC, Katrina, teh re-election of GW Bush).

    We have to help Haitians – it’s the right thing to do. But in delivering that aid, we must insure that the money is allocated to those who need it most and not the elite Haitians who will squander the cash and let the disenfranchised pay the price. Millions in aid went to the Spitak region. And millions got pocketed by unscrupulous politicians and distributors who saw to it they got their piece of the pie first. Unfortunately, it seems that looking out for one’s self above everything has become an intrinsic part of our human nature. Even in the face of disaster, it becomes less about the village and more about the tribe lord when the bucks arrive.

    If you feel I’m inappropriate in expressing that concern, so be it. When the time comes for accounting, I’ll be the first to stand up and say I told you so!

  • Silas,

    I was referring to the fact that time is of the essence right now..the Haitians don’t have time to wait for aid and relief to be co-ordinated properly. As far as allocating the funds and rescue efforts to those that need it most, why did I see the white Christian missionaries being given top priority to board the planes this morning?

    They all need help equally!

    I do understand what you are saying to me now.


  • The Saturday Morning news

    Please text Haiti to 90999. Ten dollars will go directly to the International Red Cross.

  • The Sunday Morning news

    Please text Haiti to 90999 so that ten dollars can go directly to the Red Cross.

  • By the way, Jeannie, this 90999 texting service exists only in the United States. last I looked, about one third of the hits to this site come from Australia.

  • The latest headline from the Huff

    Please Text Haiti to 90999 For International Red Cross Relief OR Text SAVE to 20222 For Save the children

    any way that you give helps buy FOOD, WATER ,AND HOPE for the Haitian people!!

    Ten dollars goes a long way!

  • Yes, Ruvy,

    So, that means two thirds might be from the US OR Canada..also I think you can call the International Red Cross and Save The Children from whatever country you are in.

    By the way Ruvy, I saw how Israel flew that young woman to one of their hospitals tonight because of a breach birth..Both mother and baby girl are now doing fine. Thanks to Israel!!!

  • “and has been annoyingly drumming BCers up to do the same ever since.”

    fixed that for you.

  • #100,

    We are free to comment as we see fit
    here at BC.


    since this article is actually about the urgent help that is needed for the country of Haiti.

    Then, why don’t you just move along?

  • We are free to comment as we see fit here at BC.

    That’s exactly what I did so the rest of your comment is hysterically ironic.

  • We are all watching in horror and grief for the Haitian people.

    Except of course,for a few losers who do not have the capacity to show empathy for their fellow mankind…

  • I took a day away from the computer to go to the Knesset in Jerusalem to honor a truly great man, Raoul Wallenberg, as well to honor the others who acted, usually to their own detriment, to do what was right instead of what was easy.

    Wallenberg was not a man “with a dream”. He was a man of action, a young man in the summer of his days who did whatever it took to save Jews from the jaws of death in Hungary. He paid with his life for his high-minded boldness in the face of evil, as did many other “Wallenbergs” from Switzerland, Japan, China and Hungary and other countries who did what was right instead of what was easy.

    This comment does not deal with Haiti, except in the most indirect way.

    When Stalin had Wallenberg kidnapped on 17 January 1945, he was abandoned by the government of Sweden, by the United States and its allies who had fought in Europe, and by every regime subsequent until the State of Israel saw fit to name him a “righteous gentile”. But unfortunately, the State of Israel has been very niggardly in recognizing those Jews who made Wallenberg’s arrival in Budapest possible. Yad vaShem refuses to do so, as does the Israeli Knesset. It is the goal of the Jerusalem Group to see to it that the truth is told, painful as it may be to the Zionist establishment and the Zionist Entity. If it takes a law, then it will take a law. If it takes a media campaign to embarrass and shame the holocaust monopoly at Yad vaShem, then let them be publicly shamed. If it takes a publicity campaign to illustrate how the Zionist establishment in Israel and America did what it could to BLOCK the rescue of Jews, then let them be exposed for the blood – the Jewish blood – on their hands.

    This is the link to Haiti, such as it is. It is easy for those of us who believe in G-d to see that this terrible earthquake may well have been an expression of His Wrath at Haitians – for whatever reason. But it is not for me to point that finger of blame. It is for Haitians to ponder on their own. What I have to do is look at my own people. What actions have we taken that might make us liable to a holocaust of death?

    That is what this comment is all about, and what the meeting at the Negev Hall of the Knesset today was all about.


    This article appeared at Arutz Sheva’s Hebrew site. I’ll translate below (with help from my sons).

    Deputy Minister for the Negev and the Galilee, Ayub Kara, and MK Michael ben Ari together sponsored a meeting at the Knesset to honor the memory of Raoul Wallenberg and other Righteous Gentiles of the world who rescued thousands of Jews during World War II, after the saying of Kaddísh in his memory [and theirs] at the Western Wall.

    Kara [who is not Jewish but Druze] told Arutz Sheva that, “Raoul Wallenberg is one of my and humanity’s most celebrated heroes. Raoul is a first class model to be imitated, and I hope in the future he will be a first class model to all those countries with minorities that do not know how to accept the “other” or different opinions.

  • correction of comment #105,

    Here are some photos…lest we forget why this article was written

  • Jeannie,

    I read the Washpo article and couldn’t help noticing one word missing – an important one here – ISRAEL. Your media ignores our efforts in the face of chaos made worse by an earthquake. But I will not.

    Worth noting from the Arutz Sheva report:

    International media continue to report on increased looting, and worse, by roving bands of young men roaming the streets of Port-au-Prince with machetes.

    “This is unlike other disaster scenes I have encountered,” Schneider added, “including Sri Lanka, Georgia and elsewhere – where each national team was out in the field setting up operations among the population and proudly displaying their flag. We saw no distribution of water by international organizations, no tent encampments established, no medical clinics operating among the displaced population… Other teams work only a few hours and rush back midday to the airport compound. We have encountered no international teams operating along the 10 km route we took from the airport to the stadium.”

    He said, however, that his team had not encountered any violence, “perhaps since we are operating at the stadium with a famous [local] DJ here – Constant – who has established the stadium as a refugee camp through [his own] personal initiative.”

    So, the question stands – why are these other teams stuck at the airport?

  • Ruvy, #107,

    What are you talking about? Why the hell are you lashing out at me?

    I just finished watching Jewish life TV! For Christ Sake!

    The program I recorded turned out to be a little to dry. It was an old documentary and I was hoping for something current.:(

    Mingya Ruv, say a prayer and find yourself some tolerance; I know that I have been looking for mine for the last fifty-two years!

  • Whose lashing out at YOU, Jennie? I’m just asking a question of readers. Why are all those teams stuck at the airport? Why are they all afraid when the Israeli team, ignored by the mighty Washington Post, manages to operate all sorts of small aid stations?

    Let’s toss one more question out? Why does the MASS media ignore Israeli efforts in Haiti? Why does the mass media ignore the fact that the Arabs who want us dead do so little by comparison? Are they afraid to state the obvious? That these mendacious Arab blood-suckers don’t give a damn?

  • The news reports, after describing the new tremor, and then continuing to talk about international aid, again ignore Israel entirely – in spite of the fact that we have a functioning military field hospital that is far better than anything anybody else has gotten out so far.

    That is enough to make my blood boil over.

    There may be more to these tremors than mere plates moving against each other. One rabbi whom I respect suggested that Haitians are being punished for the idolatry (voodoo) they practice, but I would also suspect that it is for the evil perpetrated by the lighter skinned élites on the rest of the population. The country was in a state of starvation and near chaos before the quakes hit on 12 January. But this would be for Haitians to ponder, and certainly not for me to make accusations over.

    But there may be yet more. This I want to hold my piece on because it appears to be a developing story. Elsewhere….

    Nevertheless, we cannot stint on whatever we are able to contribute to the Haitians to ensure their survival in this, their hour of need.

  • That is not true, Ruvy you should watch MSNBC, they give all the credit to Israel for setting up field hospitals and evacuating critically injured to hospitals in Israel!

  • And FTG today!!!

  • I learned about a hillside community this morning that is so devastated ,even the local people that survived can’t tell where they are at or what is buried where!

    See all the countries rushing to help? Israel is there.

    I just Googled results for Israel rescuing quake victims/ Haiti and got 158,000 hits in 0.31 seconds!

  • I can finally put my club down and stop beating with it. Arutz Sheva finally has evidence that the world is beginning to recognize the disproportionate contribution made b my country to the aid effort in Haiti.

    From the newsbrief:

    Some of the headlines:

    Israeli Field Hospital a Model for Crisis Care (NBC News); Israel’s Makeshift ICU Saving Lives in Haiti (FOX News); An Israeli Army Trauma Surgeon in Haiti (Reuters), Israel: Sending Soldiers of Peace to Haiti (Los Angeles Times); Israel’s Disproportionate Response (American Thinker); “No One Except the Israeli Hospital Has Taken Any of Our Patients” (CNN); Israeli IDF Hospital: The “Rolls Royce” of Medicine in Haiti (CBS News); Israelis Save Trapped Earthquake Victim (BBC News); A Day with the Israeli Search Team (Sky News).

  • FitzBoodle

    The disaster in Haiti is a story of re-bar and corruption. Earthquakes occur around the world, but are tremendously more consequent in 3rd world countries than in modern countries. Why? Has it not occurred to people to ask why? Apparently not.

    Modern anti-earthquake construction has a few simple elements, such as soil choice, free-standing structure, non-structural exterior partitions, etc.

    But none of these is as significant as the use of reinforcing bar in concrete structures. Steel re-bar is the common coin of modern construction. Without re-bar a concrete building is just a fancy mud hut. Of course it will collapse, even in the mildest earthquake. The taller it is, the more floors it has, the more dangerous it is.

    Unfortunately, re-bar is the most valuable item (after copper wire, which is hard to steal) at a construction site, and thus becomes the major vehicle of thievery and corruption at any construction site.

    Buildings are routinely spec’ed with re-bar, and sometimes it is even delivered, but then removed to be used again in that charade. Sometimes it is just stolen by workers.

    Enormous networks of corruption exist to facilitate this thievery. Government inspectors are bribed, builders reap huge profits, workers are commanded and bribed to participate.

    Thus, the main hospital collapses. Thus, the presidents palace collapses.

    What good will it do to “rebuild infrastructure”, etc., if it will be subject to the same corruption and failure?

  • You raise an interesting issue, Fitz. One that I need to pay close attention to. This country is overdue for a major earthquake on the order of the one that struck Haiti a week ago. And there are plenty of “stone and mud huts” that shine in the sun, built with faciae of white Jerusalem stone – but which will collapse in an earthquake, killing thousands.

    Think of all the multi-story hotels, the fancy “luxury” housing – death traps all of them – if G-d causes the land to shake, rattle and roll in an earthquake like struck here in the days of Uzziah nearly thirty centuries ago.

    This is the reason I pay so much attention to what happens in Haiti. I’m painfully aware that what happened there could happen here. And there will be no IDF to rush in to provide aid either.

  • cannonshop

    Okay, so now the Miltary, the U.S. military, which handled the indonesian tsunami and disasters of similar scale and has handled relief efforts world wide, is being told NOT to hand out food, because…what? they make USAID look bad at the job?

  • cannonshop

    Okay, Link didn’t work out, must’ve done something wrong.

    US military being told not yo hand out food

    yeah…that’s fuckin’ brilliant. Stupid pencil pushers…

  • American Soldiers Told to Stop Distributing Food. Officials from the State Department, (USAID) flex bureaucratic muscle in Haiti. Bring food aid to a halt. Soldiers continued to distribute water.

    Hopefully, Cannonshop, this link works. Are there any updates to this story? Or anything that contradicts it? The story is over a day old…..

  • Ruvy, #120,
    Here is a new update.

    Last night, my husband & I were discussing your complaint that Israel was not getting the attention that they deserved in Haiti; he said to please tell you how impressed he is with the expertise and efficiency of Israel in this horrific disaster. When it comes to search, rescue, and critical medical care, ISRAEL ROCKS!

    Unfortunately, my country is to engrossed in politics and personal gain to get it together.

  • cannonshop

    It just pisses me off that people are suffering and dying, and some bureaucratic asswipe is playing turf-games instead of letting our guys do the job they’re there to do-which is to say, helping people survive.

  • On this we totally agree, Cannon. It’s an outrage how this disaster has been handled from the very beginning.

    As far as I’m concerned, the US government has no leg to stand on. One couldn’t imagine a bigger botch up even if one tried. All of these people should be disbanded and sent home.

  • cannonshop

    There’s a reason that you call the National Guard when your volcano erupts, a hurricane hits, or an earthquake turns S.F. into a disaster area-they’re actually GOOD at dealing with that shit-whereas FEMA and USAID aren’t, and that’s something you can look through the last twenty years and see visible documentation of.

    This order HAD to come from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue-I don’t see the military, honestly, abiding by or obeying this kind of order without it having presidential-level backing.

  • You’re correct there, too. It was a decision from the White House to leave the State Department in charge.

    I surely hope some heads will roll.

  • Please see my comment #261 here. It is an outrage.


  • It doesn’t make sense, DM. First he was in bed with Chavez. Now you say he’s his enemy.

  • If you guys are complaining, Dan, Roger, and Cannonshop – I don’t need to comment.

    Your government is playing to all of its weaknesses, and your president is directing the effort to sandbag your rescue efforts. Now you see why I allege that Obama has no intention of bringing your country out of the other crises it is suffering in. His policies consistently sandbag you. This is not a matter of ideology.

    I speak as a proud syndicalist socialist who would like to see universal health care in America, a destroying of the huge income gaps in both America and Israel, an end to homelessness in the States (I know personally how that feels), a rebuilding of the manufacturing infrastructure, a re-establishment of moral sensibilities, and sound fiscal conservatism to keep the business cycle in control.

    But this traitor of a president is selling you all down the river, and the incompetence dictated from the top in even an effort to save lives is direct evidence of this.

  • It doesn’t make sense. . . Of course it doesn’t make sense, nor was it intended to. Nothing coming from el Presidente Chavez does. However, that’s what he is saying, even though he still wants to have dialogue with the United States, which may take him up on it.

    The Earth is a crazy place; maybe it has something to do with melting glaciers and global climate change. Perhaps there is too much carbon dioxide in the air we breathe. If anybody has a better answer, I’d be interested.


  • Ruvy, I’m not “complaining;” I’m trying to retain some small vestige of sanity.

    The orderly is coming with my meds, but before he forces them down my throat, let me suggest that this, But this traitor of a president is selling you all down the river, seems to be a grossly racist comment, first accusing our beloved President Obama of being a traitor and then using the phrase “selling down the river.” For shame, sir, for shame.

    Opps, he is forcing the meds down and I gotta go. . . Ouch!


  • I don’t have a better explanation than you, DM.

    Perhaps it’s the fluoride in the water, or hay fever, what else have you.

  • cannonshop

    #125 Oh, I expect heads will roll-but not the heads that need to. They’ll blame the military for the failure, and preserve the pencil-pushing asswipes who’re actually at fault.

  • For those still paying attention, the probable death toll in Haiti from the earthquake on 12 January and subsequent aftershocks has now risen to 300,000, matching the death toll from the 2004 Boxer Day tsunami.